With the debut of the 14th generation Ford F-150, the automaker has brought out their most technologically advanced pickup yet. And while features like the PowerBoost Hybrid V6 or the Pro Power Onboard Generator aren’t going to be for everyone, they show a continued effort to expand the truck’s customer base. The existence of the upcoming Electric F-150 highlights this better than anything. However, it doesn’t appear that Ford is going to stop there. Thanks to our colleagues over at TFLTruck, we now have images of what appear to be a self-driving 2022 Ford F-150 prototype out testing near Dearborn.
According to the outlet, spy photographers were able to capture images of a 14th-Gen Ford F-150 out testing with an older truck and one of Ford’s Argo AI-equipped Escapes. While this alone may not seem terribly out of place, one look at the spy shots only make things more interesting. Despite the fact that the 2021 F-150 is already on dealer lots across the country, this particular truck is wearing a decent amount of camouflage, which likely makes it a 2022 Ford F-150 or farther out. More specifically, the camo is covering the truck’s grille and front facia, as well as parts of the roof and flanks. There are several groups of cables poking out from behind this camo, which could be hiding the necessary sensor equipment. GM’s Super Cruise system for example employs the use of lidar map data, GPS, cameras and radar sensors to aid drivers on the road.
The idea of a semi-autonomous pickup truck isn’t entirely new. Just a few weeks ago GMC announced that GM’s Super Cruise system will be heading to their Sierra lineup in 2022. Not ones to let the competition maintain an edge in the pickup segment, Ford could very well be working on a similar system to employ on the F-150. General Motors has stated that their new system headed to its high-end trucks will allow for hands-free towing, which may explain why this particular Ford prototype was spotted with a trailer attached.
The American public as a whole has yet to embrace autonomous vehicles, despite what one Elon Musk might suggest. That said, this could change if the most popular vehicle in the country begins to employ this technology. These systems do add quite a bit of complexity however, which isn’t something that pickup buyers often embrace. Of course we all said that same thing about turbocharging when the EcoBoost motors made their debut. Would you be interested in a Ford F-150 that can drive itself? Let us know what you think of autonomous vehicles down below.